MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet have signed off on this year’s Statewide Emergency Shelter Plan (SESP).
During a presentation to Scott and cabinet members at the Stanley Switlik Elementary School in Marathon, emergency management officials said their surveys have found that by retrofitting existing schools and building new ones to meet shelter design criteria, the state has created more than 939,000 public shelter space in the past 12 years alone.
Officials said 37 counties now have a surplus of shelter spaces. Also with the construction of new public schools across the state, the number of hurricane shelter space has steadily grown with the increasing population.
“We appreciate the support of Governor Scott and the Cabinet to ensure Florida’s residents and visitors enter this year’s hurricane season as prepared as possible,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Bryan W. Koon.
The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins Friday, June 1. By knowing the nearest shelter, it will help those who need it be prepared if a hurricane threatens the area. Emergency managers say part of everyone’s yearly preparations should be to have a disaster supply kit and make an evacuation plan if you decide to leave.
Visit www.FloridaDisaster.org for more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management.